“Do not tell anyone.”
That’s the approach that Republican Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell took when he was recently approached about what his party would do if it regained control of Congress next year. McConnell said, “I’ll let you know when we get it back.”
Such failure to publicize your party’s plans makes a mockery of the democratic process where voters are expected to make informed decisions when they vote.
It could also be a way to hide politically unpopular Republican agenda items during the election for fear they would cost the party’s candidates votes. That actually seems to be the case – for God’s sake don’t tell them before the election!
But other GOP leaders are less reluctant than McConnell and thanks to them the political cat is out of the bag. It really is an ugly cat. Turns out Social Security and Medicare are in the crosshairs of the GOP. And Republicans don’t want Montana’s senior voters to focus on that, because a full 25% of Montana’s population is over 65.
Full disclosure: Over the years I have written in abstracto about social security and health care. But for the past ten years, I’ve joined as many of my fellow Montanans as someone who depends on that monthly retirement check.
So along comes the chairman of the Republican Senate Campaign Committee, Florida Senator Rick Scott, who publicly announces the GOP plans and calls them a “rescue plan” for the country. By saying, “Americans deserve to know what we’re going to do,” Scott’s GOP plan for America placed all federal programs, including Social Security and Medicare, under a “sunset provision” that would bring them to zero and force them to reapply. introduced in order for the programs to reduce the checks for citizens who have invested their own money all their lives to support their future retirement.
Imagine that. Take your future monthly Social Security checks and your eligibility for Medicare support for major medical procedures and zero them out before you decide to maybe recover some of the cuts.
And Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson goes even more extreme. He wants your monthly Social Security payment and Medicare benefit obligation to drop to zero each year. He says that allocating your money for your Social Security payments should no longer be “mandatory expenses.”
Imagine putting your financial future, your day-to-day ability to survive, in the hands of a couple in Washington who can barely take a bill that mentions only a post office.
It is also there on the side of the house. Kevin McCarthy, who would become Speaker of the House if Ryan Zinke and a few more Republicans are added to their current 212 GOP members, has also unveiled plans to put Social Security, Medicare and other so-called “entitlements” on the chopping block.
Unsurprisingly, this 2022 GOP attack on Social Security and Healthcare, now revealed, comes from those who were nearly unanimously opposed to the adoption of both in 1935 and 1965.
They have tried this many times before. For example, the budget proposed by GOP House chairman Paul Ryan in 2014 included a privatization of Medicare. Then Congressional candidate Ryan Zinke backed that budget, even saying in the Billings Gazette that the cuts were “not as aggressive as I’d like.”
The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare has approved Monica Tranel to run for Congress in the Western District of Montana for her staunch support for Social Security and Medicare, which are so important to seniors in Montana.
Right now, the only thing senior voters in Montana can do to secure their Social Security and Medicare insurance through a GOP majority in the House of Representatives is to vote Monica Tranel for Congress, plain and simple.
Evan Barrett worked in Montana’s government, politics, economic development, and education. He lives in Butte.